Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Home, New Worm Bin

I recently counted the number of homes that Tristan and I have lived in as a couple. In our 4+ years of cohabitation, we have called nine different dwellings home (and yes, that includes the gypsy wagon). A few weeks ago, we moved into our latest place, an apartment I hope will be our home base for some time.

This place has a very different vibe than all that came before it. It's newly renovated, we have no housemates, and everything is clean and *gasp* functional. I know. It actually has felt a bit awkward for a couple of DIYers, itching for any excuse to break out the drill gun. More than once in the past fews weeks I've asked myself, "will this place ever feel like our own?".

Well, nothing makes a newly renovated apartment feel homier than a new worm bin. I've grown so used to composting that I feel out of sorts when I don't have the means. Having to throw food waste in our makeshift trash can felt so wasteful, and not just wasteful--smelly. So it was with sheer glee that we welcomed the delivery of red wrigglers that came in the mail today, and we spent the evening fixing them a new home of their own.

There are billions of tutorials for making worm bins on youtube, so I'm not going to provide a tutorial here. I'm no vermicomposting expert, either, so please, check out the vast universe of expertise on the web. We've had various different composting systems over the years, including worms, and to be honest we've never had great success with this method. In New Mexico, we actually didn't produce enough food waste to appease our chickens, outdoor heap, and the worms, and so the worms were neglected and hungry, and eventually I froze the poor darlings solid.

But you know what they say: if at first you don't succeed...

I try to be conscious of the question of appropriate technology when it comes to sustainable living. Worms weren't an appropriate technology for us in New Mexico, because we had better alternative methods for disposing of our food waste. But now we live in an apartment complex in town, and the ground will be frozen solid for months to come. Vermicompost seems to be the best tool for the job.

Our little friends will live in a simple home of storage tubs, tucked out of sight in a cabinet right next to the sink, under the dish rack. This placement is dark and consistently warm, and easily accessible for plate scraping and the like. It feels good to add a new living system to the house. Real good. Feels like home.

3 comments:

spotty dog farm said...

sweet urban set-up. congrats

cheers,
spotty dog farmers

HermitJim said...

Not only homey, but useful as well!

I think this is a great move! Good luck with it!

Julie said...

housing is a tough one. there are so many factors like location, space, pleasant quirkiness, and price that often don't align. eric and i are in the same boat.